AN Indonesian baby boy will undergo delicate surgery after an X-ray revealed his twin is growing inside his body.
The parents of baby Muhammad Abdalul Zikri Hakim rushed the 10-month-old to a hospital on Lombok, an island neighboring the holiday playground of Bali, as his abdomen inexplicably swelled before them earlier this month.
On March 15, after he was transferred to the West Nusa Tengarra General Hospital, an X-ray and CAT scan revealed the almost unheard of situation.
The skeletal outline of a fetus was visible inside the baby boy’s abdomen.
The doctors suspect Muhammad is suffering fetus in foetu, a rare condition that occurs in about one in 500,000 births.
It occurs when a fetus becomes enveloped by its twin in the womb.
The fetus survives, but becomes a parasite and remains that way long after its twin’s birth.
Hospital director Lalu Hamzi Fikri told the Jakarta Post the doctors had never come across the condition before.
The initial scans undertaken by doctors revealed the twin was no longer moving.
“The tissues are dead tissues but the blood vessels remain alive,” Lalu Hamzi Fikri told the ABC.
“It’s dependent on the main source or parent, which in this case is the baby.”
As a result of hosting his parasitic twin, baby Muhammad is severely undernourished and there are concerns for his health in undergoing such major surgery.
A team of specialists, including an obstetrician, surgeon, radiologist, pediatrician, and anesthetist, is now preparing to conduct the life-threatening operation.
The hospital’s obstetrician Agus Rusdi Hamid told the Jakarta Post that fetus in fetus was a congenital abnormality that occurred mostly in baby boys.
He said the location of the fetus inside the baby’s abdomen was a complicating factor, as doctors had to determine if it was attached to a vital organ.
The ABC reported that doctors at the basic, holiday island hospital will perform the complicated surgery to remove the fetus.
The broadcaster reported that due to the rarity of the condition, they do not know what factors could compromise the operation, and baby Muhammad’s life, once it is underway.